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Willingham Reinstated; Patterson Optioned

The Nats made a roster move this afternoon, officially clearing space for OF Josh Willingham, who is returning from the bereavement list after the death of his younger brother. To make room for Willingham, the Nationals optioned OF Corey Patterson back to Class AAA Syracuse. This was the expected move, obviously; Patterson had come up only as a temporarily fill after Willingham received news of his brother's death last weekend.

Willingham has missed the last six games.

Patterson, in five games, was 2-for-15 (.133) with two stolen bases.

I'll have more on Willingham's return before the game. (First pitch is 7:05 p.m. tonight.)

By Chico Harlan  |  June 20, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
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Next: Lineups From Nats Park


just went and watched some of the archive to see what ya'll were talking about from the fan-umps. i think it's hilarious. didn't look like they were trying to be jerks or anything. it's a really funny way to take advantage of the tv time one gets in those seats.

Posted by: NatsNut | June 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

BTW I'm beginning to think the only way to protect the outfield with Dunn and Dukes out there is to place Mighty Willie Mouse in CF and let him run wild covering as much ground as possible. I know Dunn is great at the plate and his error didn't hurt last night (although it could have cost Washington the game), but it's seriously only a matter of time before he continues really hurting our defense again. We never would have won those games in NY with him out there. What to do?

Posted by: dovelevine | June 20, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Love that Willie nickname, doveline. Here I come to save the day...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 20, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It was too much to hope for that they'd DFA Kearns. It will be real interesting to see what lineup Manny puts out there for tonight. Stick with the winning defense or put the Dunn/Dukes/Willingham horror show on again?

Posted by: souldrummer | June 20, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

All snarkiness and jack-assery aside. Welcome back Josh. It is never easy to lose a family member, but it is harder when it just seems so senseless. My thoughts and prayer are with you.

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I think Willie should play every day in CF, unless there is a trade or FA signing.
He is not as good defensively as Maxwell, but he can at least hit his weight. And when Willy is out there, I don't get the " Oh #$%@" reaction every time a ball is hit out there.

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love The Boz. How cool is it that Boz, hanging out in the rain up at the Open in NY, is thinking Nats Baseball and takes the time to make a quick jump into our Nats conversation.
That's really awesome!
BTW loved the Audience Umps last night. Those dudes were hilarious.

Posted by: dovelevine | June 20, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I second Chris' sentiments re. Josh Willingham.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I am in agreement wrt to Willie Harris playing CF. As long as he continues play stellar defense there, the Nats need to start him. The other bats should come alive (hopefully) soon, and if Willie gets enough regular playing time he could get on a hitting streak or two over the course of the next 2-3 months. And his speed on the bases in also a big plus. And maybe Manny should have him lay down a bunt once in a while. He can beat it out if it is a half-way decent bunt.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe playing some baseball can help Josh get the tragedy off his mind for a while.

Let's hope so. What a tragedy.

Posted by: bigmook | June 20, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

4 in a row,anyone????

Posted by: chris88 | June 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Sure Chris88. Four in a row sounds very nice. Can't wait to see the lineups for tonight.

Posted by: Roscoe4 | June 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Day 4 of Operation Save Manny.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 20, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse


do try not to be too disappointed if you see "Kearns-9" anywhere above eighth in a possible lineup.

Posted by: surly_w | June 20, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Austin Kearns is the Wayne Comer of the new millennium. Comer hit 15 of his career 16 home runs playing for the Seattle Pilots in the bandbox that was Sicks Sradium. When the team moved to Milwaukee the next season he was mostly relegated to pinch hitting until the Senators traded RP Bob Humphreys and OF Hank Allen to the Brewers in hopes that Comer regained his power stroke. Uh-un. He hit four doubles and eight RBI in 77 games before drifting out of the majors at the end of the 1972 season.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 20, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

leetee -- I'm right with you. Kearns benefited all the way to the bank with his time in Cincy. Examples: the past 2 nights, both those warning track balls would've been HRs at the Great American Bandbox. In particular, 2005 and 06 (he was brought here in July) were prevalent HR years.

I'm not thrilled by his lack of HRs, obviously, but I'm more concerned about his lack of 2Bs and general power shots. He hit 35 doubles in 2007, taking advantage of RFK dimensions, and 71 walks (.266 BA and .355 OBP). Sure, lots more ABs, but he hasn't done squat for us in 2+ years. Everyone says he's a worker and a popular guy in the clubhouse -- otherwise, he would have been gone LONG ago.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Day 4 of Operation Save Manny.

Posted by: MrMadison | June 20, 2009 4:07 PM

Its actually Day 5 - its just that Dukes blew Day 1 on Tuesday

Posted by: DCguy7 | June 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Oh, one more thing about Kearns:

He is tied for 5th in the NL with most GIDP with 10, despite MUCH fewer ABs than most in the list. (Z'man is tied for first with 3 others with 12 so far). No doubt he's struggling. I'm amazed he's in the lineup, and so high, so regularly.

When Josh is ready, I'm ready for him to contribute.

Posted by: mo_dc | June 20, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Just a couple of general thoughts & observations -

> Harris in CF is a fair, not a great solution; Patterson has better range & defensive instincts, but can't hit his weight.

> If Manny ever goes with an OF of Dunn-Dukes-Willingham, I hope he plays AGonz at SS, but positions him as a short LF (on the OF grass); That would allow Dunn to play the line / deep, Dukes to shade toward RC, and Willingham to play the line.

Posted by: BinM | June 20, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

bigmook, perhaps that might be the case. Not that working makes one forget about such a loss, but for some immersion in the work world can be helpful.

Thanks for the Zimmerman GIDP info, mo. That was the first thing that popped into my head (to wonder how many he had) after reading the Kearns stats. FoF does have a tendency to do that.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 20, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and lineups are up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 20, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

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